Theme Of Intolerance In The Scarlet Letter

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Intolerance, defiance, and alienation in The Scarlet Letter
When addressing the stringent Puritan religion as a whole, the Puritans believe on a pure society. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, which is a novel based on the actions of a woman named Hester Prynne and the sin of adultery that she has committed, and the life she has to live after she has to face the fact of dealing with the sin she has perpetrated for the rest of her life. The Puritan society has a great deal of intolerance for people’s mistakes, and their actions in The Scarlet Letter. Defiance portrays alienation in a feeling as well. Defiance and alienation both are very prominent in their strict Society due to the fact that the Puritans’ theocracy did not believe
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Many times in this book, there are several individuals that are alienating Hester, and her daughter Pearl, as well as Dimmesdale. When the town of Boston Massachusetts, finds out about the sin of Hester, they seem to isolate her, as well as Pearl. Being isolated from the town means that Hester will have to go through great difficulties and learning how to depend on herself from now on. One of the difficulties that Hester had to endure was that she had to stand on a scaffold for a certain amount of time each day, with her daughter Pearl. As another punishment of her sin, she had to wear the letter A on her clothing as a symbol of the sin that she had committed. Since Hester Prynne wore the letter A, which stood for adultery; when people saw her wearing her symbolic letter, they would distance themselves from her. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses alienation when expressing, “Pearl would grow positively terrible in her puny wrath, snatching up stones to fling at them, with shrill, incoherent exclamations that made her mother tremble because they had so much the sound of a witch’s anathemas in some unknown tongue.” (Hawthorne 87). This quote in the novel specifically shows the symbol of alienation due to the fact that Pearl was born in prison, it made it difficult for both her, and her mother in the village. Many people were disgusted with Hester’s sin, and her…show more content…
Hester Prynne and her little Pearl do not fit in perfectly with the cruel society they live in and they are both alienated from the town. The Puritans act as if Hester and Pearl are acts of the devil, and do not agree with them being in the town. Along with Hester’s punishment of standing on the scaffold in front of the village every day with her baby child, she worn the letter ‘A’ upon her boozums each and every day. After the town realized that they had passed judgment on Hester and her innocent child, that’s why they wanted to accept them both and give them a chance. The people in the village finally opened their eyes and realized that they were both people just like them, and that Hester was very true and sweet. The Puritan’s stopped looking down on Pearl and her mother and started looking up to them both. Knowing that the society did not agree with Hester’s decision she still tried to live like a normal person, and it was impossible for her to live her own way in her own lifestyle. People would defy her as a person, alienate her from the town, and make her life simply intolerable for her and her young
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